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Christmas Dinner Recipes

Standing Prime Rib Roast with Potatoes

Traditionally served at Christmas, a standing prime rib roast is a showpiece for the holiday spread. We use the pan juices to roast the potatoes, resulting in a fragrant, golden delight.  Typically, we attempt to eat something special on Christmas that we wouldn’t eat on any other day. On a genuinely exceptional occasion, nothing beats a prime rib roast.

The following steps are virtually the same even if you don’t have a bone-in roast. Roast in a shallow pan with a rack placed fat side up.


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 standing rib roast, 5 to 6 pounds
  •  2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
  •  Optional: 2 tablespoons each of fresh, chopped thyme and rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 to 6 russet potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and cut into narrow wedges


  1. Take the roast out of the fridge two to three hours before you cook it.
  2.  Prepare an oven temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the roast in the oven, and if necessary, move the oven rack to the middle-lower position.
  3.  Helpful Hint: The roast will be more tender if you rub some butter on the sliced ends.
  4.  Use olive oil as a rub for the meat.
  5. Pepper the oil before using it. The combination of rosemary and pepper is also a favorite of ours. Apply pressure to ensure the herbs stick to the meat.
  6. The potatoes should be boiled for about 10 minutes in plenty of salted water or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then peel.
  7.  Rib bones down put the roast in the roasting pan and into the oven. Place a meat thermometer designed for use in the oven in the thickest part of the roast, making sure not to contact the bone.
  8.  For 20 minutes at 450°F, the roast can be browned to perfection.
  9. For the next hour, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting while basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.
  10. Add the potatoes after an hour. Douse in coat and toss.
  11. Keep roasting for another 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the thickest section of the roast (away from the bone) reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, cook at 140 degrees for medium.
  12. (You should plan on spending roughly 2 hours in the kitchen.)
  13.  Before slicing, let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes on a cutting board (but save the fat and pan juices for the Yorkshire pudding). The meat will be juicier and more flavorful if you let the roast rest after cooking.
  14. First, you’ll need to make a slit between each pair of ribs, and then you may slice the meat into serving sizes. Horseradish cream might be served on the side.


Buche de Noel

Our Christmas Yule Log Cake, or Bûche de Nol, is a simpler, airier take on the traditional sponge cake filled with whipped cream. As a holiday dessert, it stands out! The addition of a stem of evergreen and some cranberries gives the dish a festive holiday feel. The cake is easiest to roll up when still hot, so don’t wait!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  •  1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  1/4 cup cocoa
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Extra cocoa for dusting


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use parchment paper or greased and floured foil to line a hefty jelly-roll sheet pan (10×15 inches).
  2. Eggs should be beaten quickly in a large bowl until they become quite thick and have a pale lemon hue. Mix in the sugar slowly. Incorporate the water and vanilla extract by beating at a moderate speed.
  3.  In a larger bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  4. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, beating until a smooth consistency is reached.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 12–15 minutes, until the cake top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven, and then immediately loosen it. Use the parchment paper to help you pull the cake from the pan and place it on the counter.
  7.  Start rolling the cake up from the shorter end using the parchment paper it was baked in while it was still hot. After the cake has been in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, set it aside to cool thoroughly.

The cake must be allowed to cool before the filling can be prepared. Instructions for completion are provided below.

Shrimp Cocktail

Here’s a simple recipe for a delicious shrimp cocktail.  A traditional horseradish sauce recipe is offered. Arrange the poached shrimp on a tray and pass the dipping sauce at a gathering.  Or, for a classy dinner starter, pour the sauce into a wine or martini glass and arrange the shrimp around the rim.  The best way to prevent shrimp from acquiring a fishy odor is to store it at very low temperatures, either in the refrigerator or on ice. Raw or Poached?


  •  1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
  • 20 to 26 shrimp (2-pound bag), deveined, peeled, tails on
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  •  3 springs parsley
  •  Optional: 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Put 8 cups of water in a covered saucepan and bring it to a boil. Bring the pot to a boil, then add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Finally, incorporate the shrimp and turn off the heat at once. Place a lid on the pan. Wait about 10 minutes until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through.
  3. Cooked shrimp should be drained and spread out on a towel to cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Chill the shrimp in the refrigerator for at least an hour after placing them in a bowl and covering it with plastic wrap (up to 1 day)

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